By MICHAEL RODRIGUEZ
South Padre Parade
It seems as though it’s been weeks since I’ve written you guys. I don’t know, maybe it’s been the hustle and bustle of the holiday season that’s had me preoccupied. One thing is for certain, it’s definitely been a busy time for us here at the Parade, and we certainly wish all you good folks a happy Thanksgiving.
With that said, and in the spirit of the holidays, I’d like to share with you some personal experiences. Yes, folks. This is going to be one of those “I’m thankful for… ” write-ups. Brace yourself!
Almost a year and a half ago, I wrote an article for the San Benito News about Janet Mata, a then-17-year-old girl with dermatomyositis (an incurable muscle disease) who defied the odds by not only living past the age of 15 – when doctors had initially believed she’d perish – but graduating from high school.
After recently catching up with Janet, who is now 19, I learned that doctors have given her two years to live. To put it simply, the disease is destroying her from the inside out.
I then watched as she cried, fearful for her parents, her brothers, and afraid of death itself. Yet while faced with this news, Janet displayed courage and wiped away her tears, asserting a desire to continue fighting the disease.
In the meantime, she takes solace in her faith in God, her love of music and movies, reading, and – of course – her little Yorkshire Terrier… Mei-Ling.
My mother, after reading last year’s article, gave the terrier to Janet in hopes Mei-Ling would breathe life into the ailing teen.
By all accounts, it worked. In fact, Janet said her doctors have commented on the soothing nature of the canine, who is known to never leave the girl’s side. It’s been said that Mei-Ling may even be helping prolong Janet’s life by giving her that in which she’s long craved: a companion.
Still, Janet worries for Mei-Ling and has expressed the desire to find the puppy a female companion.
She’s thankful for all she has, for her life and especially her family, but I can’t begin to explain to you how much it would help this young lady if she had another puppy to call her friend. Should you find it in your hearts to be a little generous, give Janet something else to be thankful for this holiday season. Those interested in helping Janet can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy Thanksgiving, folks.